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PART V: Fighting Outsourcing and Precarious Work: The First Steps

PART V: Fighting Outsourcing and Precarious Work: The First Steps

6. Finding

6. Finding and working with coalition partners In the fight against precarious employment and outsourcing, you will need support from reliable allies who share your objectives and methods and under- stand that this is a common issue. These include: l Your territorial or branch level union organization l Your union colleagues from other plants of the company l Other unions dealing with the same outsourcing company l The public – journalists interested in the topic, NGOs and local community organizations campaigning on labour rights, unemployment, urban poverty, youth organizing, etc. Analyse your strengths and weaknesses Before you start campaigning, have a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t get discouraged if you discover some weak points – use the opportunity to try to become stronger. Identifying weak areas should not prevent you from taking action. What is important is that there is an assessment and evaluation process as part of developing union strategies. Not a single union in the world would answer “yes” to all of the following questions. OUTSOURCING AND CASUALIZATION IN THE FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY 63

64 PART V Fighting Outsourcing and Precarious Work: The First Steps Try to honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses. Take notes on why you filled in which box. Discuss your weak points: what could you do to strengthen your position? 1. Information gathering Do we regularly get the information we need from management? Do we have other sources of reliable information to check or challenge the information we get from management and compensate for information we don’t get? Do our union members report news and rumors to us? 2. Analyzing Do we fully understand the information we receive? Do we have possibilities to ask reliable and sympathetic resource persons for support? 3. Information distribution Do we have enough bulletin boards at the plant? Do we have experience in distributing written information? Can we get support to produce written materials? Do we have financial or other resources to produce printed materials? Do we have the possibility to hold meetings in departments, for the whole plant? Do we have the right to freely communicate with union members? Do union members have the time to participate in meetings? Are they released from work for meetings? Are union members able and ready to attend meetings outside work? 4. Mobilizing Do our union members consider the issue important? Are union members concerned enough to get active on the issue? Can we protect them from retaliation when they do become active? Do we have experience in organizing protest action? Do we have people who can contribute to actions (music, theatre, posters, etc.)? Do we have reliable contacts with potential supporters – other unions, NGOs, journalists? Are we able to present the issue to the public as justified and important? Do we have a solidarity or strike fund? Do we have resources needed to launch and sustain the campaign? xx x – –– IUF

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